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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Hanging onto myself

I've been thinking more and more about my previous post. And the more I think about it, the more I have been thinking about hanging onto my former self through writing. And those thoughts led me to a breakfast I had a couple of weeks ago with a guy friend and former co-worker from Bay Area Backroads. He moved to Southern California before Riley was born, so I hardly see him anymore. He was passing through town and I met him at a local pancake house with my son. It was an atypical morning where I had actually showered and styled my hair. I hadn't seen him in nearly a year, and he was visably and pleasantly surprised that I still looked like the old, pre-baby me.

Why is it assumed that a woman becomes a totally different person--physically, intellectually, emotionally--just because she pushed a baby out of her vagina? Give up work, forget about a career; transform into an asexual person in extra large children's clothing? (I think Judith Warner said something about the clothing bit in her controversial Newsweek piece.)

For nearly two years, my full-time job has been parenting, and my skillset has expanded indeed, but I'm still Suzanne. It was a huge boost to feel attractive. Former Co-worker Friend then commented about other women he knew who had babies and how they had let themselves go a bit with the mom haircut, frumpy clothes, complete with the Saturday Night Live-spoofed mom jeans: "She'll love the eight-inch zipper!"

Feeling pleased with myself, I declared: "I'm going to hang onto whatever I've got as long as I've got it." That goes for my physical appearance as well as my intellectual life.

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Sometime around my son's first birthday party, my inlaws were all over at my house and we were standing around talking. I was finally starting to feel myself again after giving birth. I was pretty much back in my old clothes. I'd been back at work for a while. I was getting a full 8-hours/night of sleep. My sister-in-law (not known for her tact) said something about not wanting to look like a mom, meaning, frumpy, unkempt and without an eye for fashion. She had forgotten that there were a couple of moms in the room.